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Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions I usually get. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please send me an email to diane@stretchingbythebay.com

What is Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening (AIS+S)?

 Active Isolated Stretch + Strength (AIS+S) is a remarkable physical therapy and/or sports performance modality that can also relieve pain, both chronic and acute, and free your range of motion to improve your posture or your game.

AIS was developed by Aaron Mattes. By studying the origin, insertion, and action of every muscle, Mattes created an impressive body of work which includes over 400 stretches, which use Sherrington’s Law: by actively engaging one muscle, the muscle that performs the opposite action must relax. AIS creates stretching that is comfortable and that gives your body a new functional range of motion. 

“I’ve never been stretched like that before. Painless stretching? Sublime!” — Chip Conley, Hotelier, Author, Founder of The Modern Elder Academy.

AIS works with soft tissue, including deep fascial planes, some of which once seemed impossible to reach. AIS brings them fresh blood and oxygen, freeing and aligning fibers of muscle and fascia. It uses the body’s natural reflexes, creating fast results

With rhythmic breathing and less than 1 pound of pressure, the tissues are taken respectfully and gently beyond their current range of motion. In just 1-3 sets of 8-10 two-second repetitions of AIS, the tissues are often able to respond with anywhere from ten to more than twenty 30-40… degrees of increased range of motion. 


  • Restores Range of Motion (ROM). 
  • Reduces the risk of muscle strain or tear. 
  • Facilitates neuro-muscular reeducation for dynamic functional ROM. 
  • Improves oxygenation and nutrition of myofascial structures, promoting growth and repair.
  • Stimulates the circulation and drainage of lymph, which helps eliminate metabolic wastes (flushes tissues).
  • Optimizes function so you can move effectively and without pain. 
  • Improves neurological response to enhance agility and quick reflexes.
  • Helps maximize potential for dominion over neurological engagement whether you are an athlete or you have a neurological disease.
  • Improves flexibility and elasticity of muscles, tendons, and fascia (tissue texture).
  • Breaks down “gluing” among fascial sheaths.
  • Separates fibers and releases adhesions that result from trauma or inflammation.
  • Realigns collagen fibers.
  • Reduces muscle spasm.


  • Athletes: AIS + S is ideal for athletes who want to run faster, jump higher, be stronger, or play better. Athletes understand the importance of optimal range of motion, strengthened joints, and proper alignment. You can only be strong in a range of motion you have! Whether you’re a professional dancer or athlete, or a “weekend warrior,” you can give yourself a life without “morning aches.”
  • People in pain: AIS+ S often succeeds even where other therapies have not. AIS restores function, thereby relieving the actual cause of the pain. It’s scientific and based on how the body really works. AIS is soft tissue therapy at its best.
  • Everybody else: Even if you don’t identify as an athlete or have physical pain, if you are ready to move beyond “standard of care,” AIS will provide you benefits like pliability, elasticity, and resiliency of tissue, along with improved range of motion & function.
Read More About AIS for Runners
Are your sessions one-on-one?

Usually, my sessions are one-on-one. If you have a workout buddy or life partner who has similar needs and goals, I can double you up.

I also teach group classes and seminars for professionals in different locations.

Do you offer Zoom sessions?

Yes, Zoom sessions are available anywhere in the world!

Subscribe to my newsletter to find out when I offer special events, classes or discounts.

Do you offer any COVID related precautions?

Yes. When requested, we can mask during sessions. I don’t mind, even though my vaccinations are up-to-date. We also have an air filter and good ventilation.

What should I expect in a session?

You will lie on a massage table, sit or stand or stand up while I assist you with and teach you stretches and exercises. I will also make a case for how your posture and movements (including the way you walk) is affecting your goals or even causing you pain and provide suggestions to improve them.

By the end of the session, expect to improve flexibility, joint range of motion, tissue texture, ease in posture, and feel good.

Every Mattes exercise has a specific purpose, and I can choose the right ones for YOU to help you achieve your goals.

What clothes should I wear for a session?

Please bring or wear comfortable workout clothing. (& your mask)

What are your fees for a private session?

Commensurate with my experience. 

If you would like to schedule a 15-minute Zoom meeting to ask Q’s and discuss your goals, contact me at diane@stretchingbythebay.com 

Do you teach your clients self-care?

I have always encouraged people to learn how to stretch and strengthen properly with The Mattes Method on their own.

I aim to teach 2-5 new movements in each session.  If you are ready for new material!

I review the homework regularly so we can build an effective self-care program based on your personal goals, plus what I see is needed to balance your structure and improve your game.

Good health is in your hands!

How is AIS different from other kinds of stretches?

The outdated method of holding a stretch for 15 seconds to two minutes has caused more injuries than improvements.

AIS is a dynamic stretching based on respecting the myotatic  stretch reflex (Sherrington’s Law, stated by Nobel Prize winner Charles Scott Sherrington). This reflex is the body’s defense mechanism to protect itself from being injured by being overstretched or stretched too quickly.

Rather than override the myotatic stretch reflex, AIS employs it in accordance with Sherrington’s Law in repetitions of 1.5 to two-second stretches that honor how the body really works.

Can I use AIS in combination with other therapies, such as chiropractic care, massages, or physical therapy?


In fact, I regularly collaborate with chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons who send me patients to help in their rehabilitation. Often, after a patient has had an AIS session, a chiropractor is able to perform their treatments more effectively.

AIS can also help when physical therapy does not achieve all the results wanted, because it reaches muscles and tissues that are harder to reach with other methods.

Where is the Consent Form and Intake Questionnaire?

The Intake Questionnaire is answering the following questions through an email.

  1. What are your physical goals?
  2. What are your physical challenges?
  3. What activities do you currently enjoy?
  4. Are there activities that have been curtailed by Covid you miss?
  5. What activities do you currently make yourself do that you don’t enjoy?
  6. What activities have you enjoyed in your past?
  7. What other activities or sports have you participated in?
  8. What injuries do you currently know that you have?
  9. Other medical conditions?
  10. What injuries or surgeries have you had in your past? (approximate date please)
  11. Please share with me copies of MRI’s & medical reports, esp post-op reports if possible.
    (I recommend you keep copies in your personal records @ home or know how to find them in your patient portal. Doctors are only required to keep records for ten years, plus it’s often a multi-step process to get them later, and even that doctor could be unavailable to do so later.)
  12. Are there any conditions that run in your family I should know about?
  13. How many minutes or hours per day (or week) would you like to spend doing your self-care homework?
  14. What do you currently do?
  15. Are there others (a partner or training partner) you anticipate doing this with?
  16. How would you describe your relationship with your body?
  17. Is there anything else you’d like me to know?
  18. Is there anything you wish for regarding agility, function or actions?

The form can be downloaded using the button below:

Download the Consent Form Here

Good Health is in Your Hands!

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